The Tree Section
Of course, the Tree Section was so named for its street names — such as Pine, Elm, Oak, and Palm — but the name also had historical roots. Rosecrans Avenue, which ran along the northern border of the city long before much development had occurred, had once been lined on either side by stately rows of Eucalyptus trees. Hence trees outnumbered homes in the Tree Section for most of the city’s early history.
The Tree Section includes several sub-neighborhoods, including the homes around American Martyrs Catholic church and school.
The Hill Section
The Hill Section features some of the biggest lots and grandest homes in the city. The area is bordered by Sepulveda to the east, Ardmore to the west, Manhattan Beach Blvd. to the north and Hermosa Beach to the south. The neighborhood is home to a vast array of architecture, from spare Mid Century Modern holdovers to sprawling Spanish Colonial.
The Hill Section obtained its name from the simple fact that it is on a hill and many might say one of the most aesthetically astonishing and residentially desirable hills in the world. When you are situated on the West side of the hill, you will enjoy sweeping views of the ocean from Palos Verdes to Malibu and beyond. If you find yourself on the North or East side, you can often have incredible views of the glimmering lights of Downtown Los Angeles as well as even the Hollywood sign.
East Manhattan Beach
In 2017, East Manhattan Beach officially became the hottest market in town when 15 homes in the neighborhood sold for more than $3 million.
Short, winding streets like Terraza Place descend into a forest like setting making it feel like you are miles away from town. Interesting lots offer views not of the ocean, but of LA’s city lights and the San Gabriel Mountains.
The Sand Section
Few neighborhoods on Earth have been photographed as much as Manhattan Beach’s Sand Section. It’s home to the downtown district, perched above the pier, with the iconic Roundhouse Aquarium at its end.
It’s also the oldest part of town, home to the original settlement in the late 1800s, when the unincorporated village was known as “Potencia” — Spanish for “power” — yet most prospective homeowners kept going south to the more tamed adjacent beach cities. The dunes were soon brought under control; in the 1920s, the dunes were dug up and tons of sand were sold Hawaiian developers, who would build Waikiki Beach in the course of decade-long project.
Residential neighborhoods quickly filled the slope approaching the ocean along the entire 2.1 mile oceanfront. Those neighborhoods are arguably now the most sought-after places to live in all 88 cities of LA County; a study released by Property Shark late last year showed Manhattan Beach has the highest median price per square foot — $943 — in the the county (Malibu is second at $933 and Beverly Hills is third at $839). The small Sand Section lots, usually 30 ft. by 90 ft., are precious as gold.
There is a lot of variety in The Sand Section – south end, north end, midtown, El Porto, etc. There are several micro neighborhoods that have a different feel from block to block.